IN MEMORIAM – ON UNEXPECTED NEWS

If you think the world is you, and all your pain, again consumed by self obsession,

Grieving, fearing, failing to be brave, or blaming others.

Again the severing of the powerful feminine too, and hence,

So tediously troubled by your selfish woes and inabilities. Perhaps your lack of love.

Then comes some unexpected news, which should always be expected, some day, if not

Quite now.

Katy is gone and very present.  So very young. Four years at war with some aggressive

Cancer, in this aggressive world.  It bolted through my chest like horror and woke me up

Again, to every  path we take apart, but then together. Inevitably.  Like Robert Frost’s, or

Yours.

 

Dear, sweet and gentle Katy. Friends knew it and I was some friend, but didn’t know

Your troubles. Some friend!  That American girl with giant, febrile eyes, who came to

England with the gentlest soul, decked with the grandeur of an age of  Innocence,

Refusing to be startled by the headlights.  A child of Edith  Wharton. A Lamda  actress

Somewhat out of time, so filled with grace  and hopes and  dreams and kindness too. It

Troubled sometimes, all that vulnerable innocence.

In the gulf of time, and our own  disappearing, I forget some things we shared, but hear

Your lovely laughter, and I knew you Katy and am very proud I knew you too, in London

and New  York. In the Apple  we sat together in a fizzing Spanish diner and I talked of

conquering  the  world and you  tried to  reign me in with disapprovals.

Perhaps America was turning the wrong way, even then, or I was and you were right.

Perhaps it is all too big for all of us.

I told you of  my father’s coming death and how  I wrestled or resented and you  told me

How you laid out your  bed in your father’s hospital, at his side, and mounted  vigil.

“Do it for you” you said,  and you were right.  I told you of the rage that came with a  girl

In New York, at the centre  of  everything, and foolishly asked your advice and you  told

Me it would frighten you. Foolishly, because first I should have heard you, with  someone

Equally gentle, but secondly a man should ask a man how to act, or not ask at all, and

Act,  and acting is real  love. Such empty male rage.

Enough.

Your voice is there, speaking your admiration for true art, your lovely idealisms, out into

The swirling, noisy, nasty, brilliant  world: Recorded Books.  You read out the very best

And walked with the very best, always. And so others read it too and hear  it

Always. Katy’s special voice.  If  they listen. And listening is love.

The grieving  tribute that  your  husband sent is a gift beyond everything, the reaching

Out with love,  not asking.   For that is you and him and what you shared. No more

Intrusion. Grief, like fear, should be silent,  contained, as dignified as you, and none of us

Knows what happens in the fight for  real  love, which is no fight at all. Good night, sweet

Katy, like flights of angels seeking rest, beyond pain, something is singing.

We think our greatest pains,  our passions, are the thing, our selfish ‘us’, but you touched

me more than any with real sorrow.

David Clement Davies

 

 

 

 

 

 

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